Tanzania has opened its first embassy in Israel. Tourism Update reported in March 2017 that Tanzania had set its sights on Israel in an attempt to boost international visitors.

On May 9, these efforts were rewarded when Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Relations, Augustine Mahiga, officially opened Africa’s 15th embassy in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.

At the ceremony, Mahiga noted the significance of the occasion and the role the embassy would play in boosting diplomatic relations between the two countries. Historically, relations between the two states have been tense. Along with most African countries, Tanzania severed ties with Israel following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In 1995, relations were restored and since then the two states have been working toward stronger ties.

Mahiga said he hoped the occasion would encourage Israel to establish an embassy in Tanzania. Currently, Israel’s East African needs are serviced by its embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

He made special mention of the impact this would play on tourism and urged the Israeli public to visit Tanzania, noting the country’s wildlife as a major draw-card. He also appealed to Israeli investors to look to Tanzania for their next project, noting particularly the potential for luxury lodges, hotels and other tourist attractions.